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For Crying Out Loud by Deke Cutter
It had been tough to find a job in this economy. But, I had persevered and finally got a good one. My new boss did have one requirement. I had to get my hair cut short. I admit, this was almost a deal breaker for me, but, I really needed to work. The boss told me to come in on Monday with the short haircut. I spent the whole of Friday night worrying, but got up Saturday and went to get the deed done. I hadn't been in a real barber shop for some time. My hair was pretty long and I usually only went to a place that I thought would make it look good when I needed a trim. So, I really just went to the first place I saw. It was a pretty old fashioned looking shop and it had a sign that said "bring your son in for his first haircut and we will film it for you." I thought that sounded very friendly.
I went in and sat down on the bench opposite the barber chairs. The barbers were both sitting in their chairs when I entered. One barber called me into his chair. As soon as I sat down in the chair something very unexpected happened. My eyes filled with tears. The barber noticed this and got very angry. He turned to his colleague and said "Action." The other barber got up and went out of the room for a minute. The barber then turned to me and said very gruffly "stop that crying right now." I was stunned by his gruffness, and tried to stop myself. With that he turned the chair away from the mirror. I heard a click and then a buzzing sound. The next thing I knew, he had placed the clippers at the bottom of my sideburn and pushed them all the way up to the top of my head. "What are you doing?" I asked. He replied that he was giving me a proper short haircut and I had better just get used to it. As he continued to destroy my beautiful glossy brown hair, the tears started to flow again. I had had long hair as long as I could remember and I had thought I would be getting some kind of short business cut. This guy was going to scalp me.
The barber had shorn my back and sides. He now stood in front of me and said. This the way we cut snivveling liitle boys hair when their mommies bring them in for their first haircut. You cry, you get a burr. Its easy for the barber and it teaches the boy what a real haircut is like. The tears were flowing pretty freely now and with that, he pushed the clippers up into my bangs and proceeded to clean off all the remaining hair on my head. I was basically too stunned at this point to react. He finally turned off the clippers and there was silence for a moment. Then came another set of clippers with a higher sound to them. He proceeded to use these on the sides and back leaving me with no hair around my ears and it felt like nothing below the bottom of my ears on my neck. Next he told me to stay very still while "I clean you up." With that he proceeded to cover the lower part of my head with shaving cream and scraped the area clean.
Finally, he turned me around to face the mirror. If I had any tears left, they would have flowed again. My hair was about a half inch long at the longest. Around my ears was a strip of white skin that continued around the back of my head. "Why did you do this to me?" The barber replied that he could not stand to see a grown man cry over a haircut. Then he continued. "By the way, I expect to see you back here once a month to keep that haircut looking sharp." I was about to speak when he stopped me and said. "My colleague has filmed this entire haircut and your ridiculous display of tears." If you are not back here on a monthly basis or if you ever repeat that foolishness in my chair, the video goes up on the internet. You will become a viral laughing stock. And if I hear one more word out of you, I may have to take off this leather shaving strop and give you another form of correction."
I left the shop rubbing my nearly bald head and went home for a good cry.